Lifetime's "Army Wives" has often walked up close to anti-American plots without stepping too far over the line. This weekend's episode crossed right over into the left's famous -- and famously bogus -- favorite theme: turning patriotic Americans into villains.
Hollywood loves this plot point despite the fact that in real life such a thing is extremely rare.
In the Aug. 5 episode entitled "Centennial," a wacko "patriot" planned to shoot an Army general to right the wrongs of a country gone bad. The mad man felt that the nation was being destroyed by the un-American activities of the government. In a computer recording the patriot said he intended to strike a blow for true Americanism by killing the general.
The episode featured a cliffhanger ending typical of the series. The results of the shooting scene will be broadcast next week.
The entire plot is based almost solely on the actions of one domestic terrorist. When Timothy McVeigh brought down the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 he was linked to the Militia movement and said to be desirous of taking down an out of control government. McVeigh was portrayed as an unhinged, über patriot gone awry.
But since McVeigh’s destructive crime, few other killers or criminals have said that their crimes were a result of a sickening brand of patriotism.
In truth, mass killings are far more likely from the mentally ill than from patriots. In fact, there have been more mass murder plots by radical Muslims than from patriots gone crazy. Racists have also been known as unstable killers.
Yet despite the infinitesimal number of apparent patriots-gone-mad instances in real life, every time you turn around Hollywood is setting up mass murder plots or presenting bad guy characters based on overly patriotic Americans who think the country needs to be corrected through violence.
Such characters have served as the villains for movies, books, comic books, and TV shows for decades.
Director Stanley Kubrick's "Doctor Strangelove" relied on the idea, featuring villains ready to destroy the world over mistaken ideas of patriotism.
Or remember "Murder at 1600" where the ultimate bad guy turned out to be a cabinet official who thought he was being a better patriot than the President and wasn’t above murder to prove it. Or TV shows such as a 2010 episode of "NCIS" where white patriots were portrayed as planning to use a weapon of mass destruction against the US government.
Even comic books, such as the issue of "Captain America" where members of the Tea Party were featured as dangerous to the country because of their obviously obscene patriotism, have used the plot. The entertainment industry loves to make patriots into criminals and Lifetime’s "Army Wives" just went there, too.
Sadly, this farcical episode featured cameos by former Gen. George Casey, his wife Sheila Casey, and Dr. Joseph Westphal. It is sad that these august personages were used as a backdrop for this attack on patriotism.